Originally invented as a treat for children in Taiwan back in the 1980s, the sweet tea drink known as bubble tea goes by names that include pearl milk tea. Combining strong black or green tea with milk and flavorings such as fruit and taro syrups, the drink has pearls of tapioca floating near the bottom to suck up through an oversized straw.
- 278 calories
- 0.6 grams of fat
- 68 grams of carbohydrates
- 1.2 grams of protein
Pearl Milk Tea Calories
The calories in bubble tea depend on how much sugar, milk, fruit, taro and toppings you or the bubble tea shop you're frequenting add to the tea base. On average, calorie counters estimate a 16-ounce glass of the frothy drink delivers 278 calories.
The milk tea chain Boba Guys estimates its milk tea calories to range from 62 to 400 calories for 16 ounces. Although that is a significant chunk of calories to drink down, it can be lower than drinking a 16-ounce Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème at Starbuck's, for example, which packs 370 calories.
The Major Source of Calories
Despite their high-calorie load, tapioca pearls provide some nutritional benefits that might make their presence in the drink worthwhile. The pearls deliver small amounts of calcium, folate, manganese and iron and are low in sodium, fat and cholesterol.
Tapioca is also smooth on the stomach, making it a good choice for those with digestive issues. Finally, tapioca delivers fiber and carbohydrates that will make you feel full and suppress hunger, keeping you from giving in to the temptation to consume even more calories.
Sugar Content of Peal Milk Tea
More Bubble Tea Nutrition
The calories in a cup of tea can add up quickly, depending on how you customize your drink. Although the idea of pearl tea ingredients including tea, milk, tapioca bobas and flavoring is the same worldwide, there's a lot of variation on ingredients that can affect the calorie count in your glass. These include:
2. Fruit Flavoring: All-natural fruit purees can keep calories lower than some artificially flavored fruit syrup. As a street food, the type of syrup used varies by vendor. The Boba Guys chain uses fresh fruit purees to sweeten drinks as a way to keep calories lower.
- What's Cooking America: Bubble Tea
- Nutritionix: Taro Bubble Tea
- Starbucks: Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème
- Medical News Today: 11 Healthy Nutrition Facts About Tapioca
- USDA: Food Nutrition Database
- Food & Wine: A Brief History of Boba
- Boba Guys: Nutritional Info
- Nuts: Taro Root Powder Mix
- Self Nutrition Data: Tapioca, Pearl, Dry Nutrition Facts & Calories